MENTAL HEALTH | One in five university students had suicidal thoughts, and half had depression and anxiety.

Prevalence suicidal thoughts near one in five college students and nearly half experience symptoms of depression or anxiety severe/moderate, according to a study by the Ministry of Universities released this Friday. “Mental health of Spanish university students & rdquor; Based on a qualitative and quantitative analysis, the latest was conducted between November-December 2022 (59,605 responses) and April-May 2023 (24,148 responses).

Among the selected profiles, particular interest was shown in most vulnerable groups such as people of color, LGBTQI+ collectivepeople with functional diversity and female doctoral students.


In terms of mental health, the study explains: every second college student those who responded to the survey had depressive symptoms and moderate to severe anxiety in the last two weeks.

At both stages of the study women presented a significantly higher percentage of depressive symptoms, anxiety and insomnia clinical or severe and percentage reducing the risk of alcohol consumption, compared to their male peers.

According to the research work of universities in collaboration with Ministry of Healththe prevalence of depressive symptoms in approximately one in two students (49.4% and 46.9%) who completed the questionnaire, and 1 in 5 have suicidal thoughts (22.5% and 21.4%).

Clinical or severe insomnia occurs in one in five; moderate or severe anxiety in every second and the prevalence of risky drinking is one in seven students (13.7% and 12.7%) who took part in a survey conducted by the Mental Health Network and Center for Biomedical Research (CIBERSAM).

Various recipes

Regarding their mental health history, it is notable that 17% of young people said that a health worker prescribed tranquilizers, anxiolytics, antidepressants or sleeping pills. The report also has the overall goal of looking at the emotional well-being of the university population in terms of those factors that help improve people’s ability to have good health and those that limit it.

According to the findings of a qualitative study conducted by Cooperativa Aplica, the main barrier to well-being is the economic.

Scholarships and academic achievement

Thus, “access to scholarships is essential for many families and pressure to keep the scholarship translated into academic achievement. Not only enrollment, but also access to the necessary materials for the delivery of some subjects involves an additional burden, ”which sometimes results in a refusal to study.

There are also “general feeling” of lack of informationwhich causes discomfort in their relationship with the university and a sense of wasting time, that is, it is believed that “a lot of time during the day is spent at the university and that, due to various factors, it is used inefficiently.”

Related news

lack of organization of curricula, repetitive content, split course are issues that students highlight and that they intend to fix. In March 2022, the Ministry of Universities and the Ministry of Health established working groupin which representatives CRUE Spanish Universities And SEUNEfor the purpose of detailed diagnostics on the state of mental health of university students in Spain.


Two years earlier, a university-sponsored investigation highlighted the emotional discomfort of youth due to the psychological impact of COVID-19 and conclusions. That same year, a survey of university students and faculty in 10 countries, including the UK, US, Netherlands, France, Spain, Australia and the Nordic countries, found that 76% of students struggled to maintain their good education. being. .

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